Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

UK mourns Prince Philip  ; leaders honor his service to queen.

After learning of the death of a man who had been at the centre of public life longer than most of them had been alive, world leaders and ordinary citizens paid tribute to Prince Philip’s life of service to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and the British nation on Friday.

Members of the public placed daffodils at the gates of Buckingham Palace, the queen’s London home, and the flag was lowered to half-staff. The national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” was broadcast on the BBC during a break in programming.

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Philip, who died at the age of 99, “earned the admiration of generations here in Britain, around the Commonwealth, and around the world,” according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson said, “We are a kingdom united in sorrow and gratitude.” “I am saddened by Prince Philip’s death and grateful for his decades of selfless service to the nation.”

Philip, who served in the Royal Navy during WWII, married the future queen in 1947 and maintained a busy public schedule until his retirement in 2017. After being treated for an unidentified infection and a heart condition, he was discharged from the hospital on March 16 looking exhausted and gaunt.

He performed more than 20,000 royal engagements to promote British interests at home and abroad, and was known for his sharp wit and devotion to the monarch. He also established hundreds of charities, launched projects to support British schoolchildren, and raised his four children, including the heir to the throne, Prince Charles.

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President of the United States Joe Biden expressed his condolences to the queen “on behalf of the American people.”

“His decades of dedicated public service are evident in the noble causes he advocated as patron, in the conservation campaigns he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces he sponsored, in the young people he encouraged, and so much more,′′ he said. “Not only through his family, but through all of the charitable efforts he shaped, his legacy will live on.′′

People queued outside Buckingham Palace shortly after Prince Philip ‘s death was announced to see the official notice posted on the doors. It was quickly withdrawn after it was discovered to be attracting crowds and thereby breaking social distancing laws during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To protect public health, the government later released a statement asking people not to gather or leave flowers outside royal residences across the world.

Louisa Crook, a 41-year-old London resident, said outside Buckingham Palace, “I’m very emotional even just talking about it.” “The news broke as my daughter and I were walking through Parliament Square, and we just felt compelled to come down here and be by the palace — safely, obviously, with masks and all — and just be next to the Royal Family today.”

Others commemorated Philip’s death in their own unique way around the world.

To commemorate the Duke of Edinburgh’s tenure, the tenor bell at Westminster Abbey has been tolled 99 times.

At cricket matches in England’s county championship and at the Grand National horse racing meeting, a two-minute silence was observed.

Official flags will be flown at half-staff throughout the United Kingdom until after Prince Philip’s funeral, according to the government.

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Anglican Church’s most senior cleric, thanked God for Philip’s life of devoted service.

“We will need fortitude and a strong sense of dedication to helping others as we heal and rebuild after the terrible trial of the coronavirus pandemic,” Welby wrote. “Prince Philip exemplified those qualities in spades throughout his life, and I hope we can learn from his example.”

Messages were sent to the queen from the royal families of Denmark, Monaco, the Netherlands, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have all shared their sorrow.

Also Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been at odds with the UK over issues ranging from election meddling to the poisoning of a former spy in England, sent the queen a telegram of condolences. Philip was the great-great-grandson of Czar Nicholas I, according to the Russian Embassy in London.

According to Putin, Philip “rightfully enjoyed esteem among the British and foreign authorities.”

The fictitious family of the prince also contacted the queen. The creators of Netflix’s hugely successful royal drama The Crown expressed their “extreme sadness” upon learning of his passing.

According to the BBC, Philip was the “hidden ingredient” in the queen’s success, according to Robert Lacey, a royal biographer and advisor to The Crown.

Lacey said, “He’s been a part of our lives, hasn’t he?” “Of course, we must all be thinking of the queen, whose life he has played such an important role in… I don’t want to take anything away from the queen’s incredible accomplishments during her reign, but so many of her new ideas and initiatives came from this amazing man.”

 

Jill Lawless, Pan Pylas, James Brooks, and Matt Dunham of the Associated Press contributed from London; Darlene Superville and Lisa Matthews from Washington; and Jim Heintz from Moscow.

# Prince Philip 

Credit : NBC News

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